"KK" and her dog "JJ" always stick together.
"KK" is 7-year-old Kaelyn Krawczyk, a North Carolina native who has a rare condition called mast cell activation disorder, according to WNCN. She consequently suffers from "mild to violent" allergic reactions, which include a drop in blood pressure, abdominal pain and vomiting, and trouble breathing, according to Duke University Hospital's Facebook page. But KK's trusty dog, JJ, is always around to prevent untoward incidents.
The service dog from Chapel Hill nonprofit Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Paws was trained to detect KK's reactions ahead of time. Her skills are so finely tuned that doctors from Duke University Hospital invited JJ into KK's operation room on Wednesday, WTVD reports.
"It struck us that JJ is really just an additional monitor that provides information about what's going on with KK," Duke anesthesiologist Dr. Brad Taicher told WNCN.Story continues below.
The hospital has never allowed an animal in the operating room before, according to the station.
Taicher says had to fight the urge to pet his new four-legged colleague while they were in surgery.
"I know she's working," he told News & Observer, "but she's so cute."
Deb Cunningham, JJ's trainer, was also in the room to relay JJ's alerts to doctors, according to KK's Facebook page, "Angel Paws for KK." The service dog had a few minor alerts while doctors brought KK off the anesthesia, but the procedure "went great!" overall.
KK first got JJ 18 months ago. Before then, KK suffered three to four severe reactions each year. But since JJ's been around, she's only had one.
Michelle Krawczyk, KK's mother, told WTVD that JJ has allowed the family to rest a little easier. She believes the dog is KK's guardian angel.
We think so, too.